A BARNSLEY mum is urging people not to delay seeing a doctor when they spot changes in their health after she received a shock cancer diagnosis more than two years after she first became ill.
Faye Walsh, 32, from Redbrook, gave birth to her son Arlie in June 2021 and became ‘more exhausted than ever’ before but was continuously sent home by doctors with no diagnosis.
She told the Chronicle: “I have suffered with dizziness for many years but the doctors always seemed to send me away with no real diagnosis.
“I then began feeling exhausted, all the time.
“Dizziness and fatigue just became normal life for me.
“After giving birth to my son in June 2021 I became more exhausted than ever but put it down to being a new mum.
“I picked up bugs, colds and coughs all the time and just felt generally unwell most days everything felt like a struggle and I wondered why I always felt this way.
“I eventually broke down to my partner, Chris, and told him I just wanted to feel normal again.
“Chris has been so supportive throughout and urged me to seek help.”
After months of feeling unwell, Faye finally had a colonoscopy in December last year and that’s when she received her heartbreaking bowel cancer diagnosis.
“On December 4 I had a colonoscopy, the doctor advised me after my appointment that he was certain I had cancer,” she added.
“But it wasn’t until a few weeks later that it was confirmed from a CT scan that I had bowel cancer which had spread across my liver.
“When we found out I had cancer I broke down in tears, I was absolutely heartbroken.
“The word ‘cancer’ never crossed my mind I just thought I was anaemic and iron tablets would help me to start feel better.
“As soon as I got home I just held Arlie and cried.”
Faye and Chris’ wedding was originally booked for January 7 but due to her diagnosis this was postponed but she’s now gearing up to finally tie the knot next week.
“I wasn’t feeling well enough to continue and neither of us felt in the right headspace,” she said.
“Our new wedding day is very soon, next Friday.
“I’m feeling strong, and happy, I’m so excited to finally marry Chris and it will be so amazing celebrating with all our family and friends.”
To make matters even worse, Faye’s insurance company voided her policy meaning to pay the bills she would have inevitably had to go back to work, despite her shock diagnosis.
However one of her friends, 32-year-old Becky Carlisle, decided she wanted to help ease the pressure by setting up a fundraiser and Barnsley’s community spirit has shone through.
So far, more than £9,000 has been raised.
“My friend Becky was determined to set up a just giving page soon after I was diagnosed, she wanted us to go on an amazing family holiday and spend some quality time away together while we digested everything but I was really against it in the beginning,” she said.
“I finally agreed and was so nervous when she pressed post, I really didn’t know what to expect.
“But seeing the amount rise so much so quickly I was completely overwhelmed and very emotional.
“We are so grateful for all the donations and the messages people are leaving too.
“This money will help take a lot of pressure off us financially and help with bills while I’m not working.”
It’s currently Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and Faye is hoping that by telling her story, more people will get checked out sooner.
“The doctors didn’t believe I could have bowel cancer due to my age, but because of my age my cancer has a managed to spread more quickly than it would in an older person,” she said.
“I just can’t stress enough, if you feel like something is wrong push your doctor, trust your body and your instincts.
“I wish I was taken more seriously from the beginning but I’m feeling strong and positive and will continue to fight this.”